04 February 2009
For me, big part of dealing with depression is recurring patterns.
An episode of severe depression is typically characterized by adverse rhythms, by negative feedback loops, by spiraling down.
So much of my cope list consists of rhythmic activities, to break up the adverse rhythms by overlaying new ones.
Even such non-obvious copes as construction toy or cartoon book or jigsaw puzzle are rhythmic, as you place one piece after another, or read one daily comic strip reprint after another.
Now to some degree, this is influenced by Aspergers Syndrome, and may not apply so much to someone without an Autism Spectrum Disorder. But I think it is more likely that an ASD just makes the rhythmic aspects more obvious and that most, if not all, humans will respond to some degree.
Why else would music be so important in the human experience?
Beyond time rhythms of recurring or sequential events, there are also spatial rhythms in recurring spatial and visual patterns. Symmetry is a special characteristic of patterns that I find compelling, and seems to me to be closely related to rhythm.
Hence copes such as kaleidoscope and parquetry/pattern (or perler beads or weaving), and also labyrinths. To varying degrees, these also include time rhythms, but to varying degrees, most of the copes include mixtures of various spatial, visual, and time factors.